When Ricky Rygaard from Texas City, Texas, had the urge to make his '07 Tahoe truly unique he knew where to go, and it wasn't far. Ekstensive Metalworks, in Houston, has a reputation for going the extra mile to make the impossible a reality. We don't know exactly what owner Bill Carlton said when Ricky asked him if it was possible to lay the Tahoe on its frame while tucking 28s, but we can bet that Bill didn't flinch.
It takes just a bit more effort to lay an SUV out on huge wheels than it does on a truck. By "a bit more", we mean you've got to not only notch the frame and shorten the rear axle like on a truck, but you've also got to worry about the rear wheeltubs and where they meet the rear doors. For Ekstensive, that meant new inner wheeltubs under the hood and a whole lot of metal massaging to get the rear doorsills to look like they left the factory with monstrous tubs.
For the front suspension, Bill and his crew shortened the factory lower control arms and moved the mounts for the upper arms higher on the factory frame. A custom two-link was fabricated for the rear, along with a track bar before Slam Specialties 'bags were installed at every corner. A fuel cell replaced the factory tank and the work under the Tahoe was nearly done. Besides the new wheeltubs, painted engine plastics liven up the formerly flat black pieces, and a K&N filter, underdrive pulleys, and a Flowmaster exhaust boost the power on the 5.3L V-8. When the welders cooled and the guys could step back and look at what they’d created, they weren't a bit surprised at how good the Tahoe looked nestled down over a set of 28x10-inch Asanti 143 wheels wrapped in ultra low-pro Pirelli 295/25R28 tires.
Even without the unique stance, the Tahoe would have looked awesome with Chris Gilbert's amazing candy red paint job. The color looks deep and pops off the Tahoe's sheetmetal and interior. For simplicity's sake, the door handles were left in place, but the roof rack was shaved and the rear bumper cover was smoothed to cover the factory hitch.
Inside the Tahoe is upscale luxury, with smoothed and painted plastics, suede inserts, and audio from Pioneer and Rockford Fosgate. The candy red painted plastics gleam from the dash and center console, which also doubles as a cooler for road trip beverages. Things really get interesting behind the C-pillar, where David Falks turned the cargo area into a cave bristling with subwoofers. Eight 12-inch T212D2 Rockford Fosgate subwoofers are mounted in an MDF enclosure above the raised rear floor. Opening the rear hatch exposes the four T-1500-1bd amps that pump out 6,000 watts for the subwoofers and both T-600-4 amps that power the midrange speakers in the front and rear doors and kick panels. Four 2,000-watt Kinetik batteries hold the reserve power just in case Ricky feels the need to really crank the bass.
There you have it, Ekstensive just proved that with the right combination of suspension know-how and the right tools, there's no limit to what you can create. When was the last time you saw 28-inch wheels on an SUV that wasn't an H2? Ricky's new ride has got the look and the sound, with no compromises when it comes to driveablity— we told you anything's possible.
Right behind the second row seats is this array of eight massive Rockford Fosgate subs.